Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: YA contemporary, #BlackLivesMatter
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Link to Walker’s website here.
Release Date: March 1, 2017
I loved this book and I will recommend it to anybody who’ll listen. Starr was so likable and brave, I really admired her. She has a brilliant support network from her family and boyfriend which was beautiful to read about, too. Their interactions were so relatable and realistic – from their arguments, to Starr’s moodiness, and their obvious love for each other – their relationships settled in my heart and I loved them all.
The Hate U Give is such an important book. It opened my eyes even more to the injustice and prejudice that Starr and her community suffered, just because of their situation and skin colour. It was completely unfair how the justice system treated Khalil’s murder, using labels like “thug” and “drug dealer” to sweep the seriousness of his death under the rug, when he was an unarmed civilian unfairly shot by a white policeman.
This book made me ANGRY. It made me want to fight. It needs to be read by everyone. It’s brilliant. And while I didn’t cry like I expected, I definitely felt very wobbly and vulnerable throughout it on behalf of Starr. She faces injustice from the police but also from her school friend Hailey, who uses racial stereotypes, says they’re “jokes”, and refuses to apologise for them.
Starr tries to keep her two selves separate: her calm, Williamson prep school self, versus her casual use of AAVE (African American Vernacular English), or “slang”. Starr endures racism from every angle – from school, to the media, to police – and ultimately speaks out against it and her identity thrives as a result.
The Hate U Give is honestly the most poignant book I’ve read in 2017, and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement (against racial injustice), I expected nothing less from Angie Thomas. She’s written such an intelligent, accessible YA novel; Starr’s voice should be listened to by everyone.
Pick this book up. Let it shatter and rebuild you. Stand with Starr. You won’t regret it.
4.5 / 5 stars
Thank you SO MUCH to Walker Books Australia for sending this gem of a book to me for review!!